Harpoon Octoberfest Beer - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Octoberfest BeerHarpoon Octoberfest Beer

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1,116 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,116
Reviews: 480
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.99%
Wants: 20
Gots: 127 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-02-2001

The character and complexity of Harpoon Octoberfest comes from the malt and hops. When looking at a freshly poured Harpoon Octoberfest, you will notice the garnet-red color with a firm, creamy head. The beer’s color is from a blend of Munich, chocolate, and pale malt. The thick head results in part from wheat malt added to the grist. The hop aroma of this beer is not overpowering but it is present. Tettnang hops add a subtle spice nose that blends with the malt character. This beer is full-bodied, smooth, and malty. Willamettehops are used to provide a gentle bitterness and to balance any residual sweetness present from the malt. The finish is soft and malty with a mild bitterness.

30 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,116 | Reviews: 480
Photo of mpedara429
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured put a clear, reddish copper color. Two fingers of creamy orange colored head.

S: Not much here but bread and malt.

T: Mainly caramel malt and a nice bitterness of earthy European hops. Probably a hint of darker malts adding a touch of bitterness as well. Very well balanced.

M: Medium body and medium carb.

O: One of the better fall beers or "Oktoberfests" I've had. Full bodied, but not over the top. Simplicity can be a good thing sometimes.

Photo of scotorum
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the 12 oz,. can into a Samuel Adams nonick. Ironic.

a: Clear amber with a finger thick white head which dissipated to thin surface foam and spotty lacing.

s; Light malt.

t: Mildly malt dominant, the effort at hop balance creates a slightly sharp overall impression.

m: Light to moderate. The brewery's description of it as "full-bodied" was not my experience.

o: Decent Marzen, but that somewhat sharp tinge detracts. Apparently my palate and Tettnang and Willamette hops do not get along as well as they should.

Photo of 57md
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a striking autumnal copper with a finger of off-white head. The nose is malty and bready. The flavor profile is highlighted by a touch of sweetness from the caramel malt. There is a slight bitterness on the finish. This is a touch lighter in body than the very best of the style, but this is still a superior effort.

Photo of BeerNewbs
3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Harpoon should require its Octoberfest be served with a soft pretzel and mustard - I mean it, even when purchased at the grocery store. This longneck is well balanced and malty. I particularly enjoyed the blended spice and nut flavors. Overall exactly as one would expect, although it was thin bodied for what I would expect from an Octoberfest brew.

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Harpoon Oktoberfest

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, semi-clear/semi-cloudy reddish/brown, amber color with an eighth of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed wispy clouds that collected in the center of the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very malty and bready, with notes of caramel, toffee and clover.

Taste: Like the aroma, the beer is very malty and bready, with notes of freshly baked baguettes or soft pretzels, followed by some caramel sweetness and finish by some hoppy bitterness that is in beautiful balance with the malty and sweet flavors of the beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium and smooth. Not much in the carbonation, though. With an ABV of 5.3%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is another solid American version of an Oktoberfest beer. Great balance between the hops and the malt. Very good. This is another Oktoberfest beer that I’ll have to add to my rotation.

Photo of mooseisloose
3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We'll it's October, month of the Octoberfest, when every brewery has their special October brew out. Harpoon has never disappointed so let's give this one a whirl. Popping the top I get a very sweet waft of malts and grape-like olfactory inputs. The brew pours to a bright orange color with a nice large bubble head that has a creamy top. On the taste this brew is as sweet as it smells but not overly so. Typical of its style, there is not much if any bitterness present. The taste is consistent throughout with a solid syrupy mouthfeel and a very slight dry chalkiness in the the finish, that cleanses the palate of the bold sweetness. A very good beer, great for the style and quite sessionable.

Photo of Andrew041180
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Deep amber with definite tinge of ruby. The beer pours with about an inch of bubbly head that leaves nice lacing on the glass. Moderate retention. May just have a slight haze to it, but is close to totally clear. A little darker than I expected, but looks very nice, especially the ruby.

S - Present, but non-distinct. I smell what I expect, because it is there? Or because I expect it to be there? Sweet malty notes, caramel mostly.

T - This is a well balanced beer. Not overly sweet like some other local examples, but the malt definitely wins the day (as I would expect, and as it should). Caramel sweetness and maybe something a little heavier. The description speaks of chocolate, which I can believe, but it doesn't taste like chocolate, which is a good thing. Lasting light bitterness on the finish.

M - Description says full, I say medium. Nice little thrill on the tongue and finishes clean, and a little dry.

O - I picked up a 12-pack because I needed something to last a while. Due to the quality of this beer it did not last a while. I expected to have one every night or so, and almost always had two. Very enjoyable. I'm not typically a huge fan of Harpoon, but I think they did a great job here.

Photo of rangerred
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark copper with a one finger off-white head which fades to a few splotches. Some streaks of lacing on the glass.

Lots of caramel noticable in the aroma along with the unmistakable aroma of German hops. A little roast in there too.

The caramel malt really jumps out in the taste along with the bit of chocolate malt that is used. Earthy hops are very in your face as is the bitterness which is quite a bit higher than in other Marzens I have had. Sweetness is held in check nicely with just a touch of stickyness and lingering bitterness in the finish.

Overall, this is definitely an "Americanized" verison of the style but I quite like it. A little more bitterness and roast and it works very nicely.

Photo of jafaircloth
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz Bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance : light Copper crystal clear, moderate white head.

Aroma: Moderate Malt, Sweet Caramel with some spiciness on the backend.

Taste: Moderate Malt and spiciness. Pronounced Caramel profile from Munich and Vienna malts. Not proper in German version, but I welcome in the US representation.

Mouthfeel: Medium Body with medium carbonation and bite. Finishes Dry with a malt and Cinnamon aftertaste.

Overall: I really like this Marzen/Octoberfest this is my second six pack. I've worked through the imports and a few domestic tributes and I've come back this beer. It's one of my favorites - CHEERS!

Photo of rx-beer
2.89/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A - Deep, clear amber with an inch of cream colored head. Good head retention with very nice lacing.

S - Malty, slightly hoppy, with some citrus notes.

T - Malty and citrusy bitterness gives way to a sweet, grassy, and citrusy bitterness.

M - Medium to light body with some carbonation and an astringent finish.

O - What a dissapointment! Has an attractive appearance and an interesting aroma. Taste is just not my cup of tea and really nothing like the other beers in this style. Would never knowingly have this beer again.

Photo of Flounder57
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It a copper color with good clarity and slow moving bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Caramel and toasted malts followed by some fruity notes and noble grassy hops.

Taste: Pretty straightforward Oktoberfest here folks. Very traditional and makes you feel like being in Germany.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little chewy, a little creamy, medium bodied, and low to medium carbonation.

Overall: Pretty solid beer. Another local favorite I have enjoyed over the years.

Photo of lostinfla
3.37/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured ice cold from a bottle to a pint glass.
A rich medium dark amber, easily the darkest Octoberfest beer I have had to date.
Short lived, medium beige head that left clingy lacing throughout the glass.
Smelled initially like a classic German pilsner, but the malty marzen aroma really kicked in after the pour. Definitely Octoberfest time now!
As expected the flavor was rich and very full bodied and creamy. Harpoon does a great job of offsetting the sweet malty flavor with a nice hop bite at the finish. This beer improved as it warmed a bit too.

Good example of the style and consistant with Harpoons usual quality!
Fall has arrived!!!

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance - The beer is served a reddish amber color boarding on copper with a one finger foamy white head. The head has a decent level of retention, slowly fading over time to leave a good leave of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of a sweet caramel and toffee smell. Mixing with these more surgery smells are some aromas of bread, malt, and a bit of spice.

Taste – The taste begins with a nice creamy bready malt base backed by a rather decent showing of a caramel sweetness. The caramel becomes more buttery in taste as the flavor advances, transitioning to a more toffee like taste. Some fruity flavors of a pear and apple develop more toward the middle of the taste with some spice hitting the tongue as well as a bit of roasted flavor. At the end some nutty flavors and a bit of grass joins the taste, in the end leaving a nice smooth, sweet, and malty flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thicker side with a carbonation level that is on the slightly lower side. The lower carbonation was actually very nice for this brew as it accentuated the creamy feel as well as allowed all the more subtle flavors of spice, nut and grassiness to really stand out a bit more.

Overall – A rather enjoyable Oktoberfest overall. It was a little on the maltier side, but was balanced nicely with a good base of sweet flavors and some lighter flavors of spice, nut and grass. A good one to try.

Photo of micromaniac129
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A desent beer that holds up well to style. The one thing that turned me off was the metallic off taste that lingered into the aftertaste or was the aftertase.
The color was right orange amber and clear. A dense head with good retention.
Aromas were light and malty.
Taste was malty. It started sweet and finished dry. No hops except for the bitterness.
Perhaps it was slightly infected but that dry metallic taste is puts me off.

Photo of dpodratsky3
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Crystal clear orange, head is thin but hangs around and clings to the side of the glass, handsome

S: Bready sweet malt backbone, hops are clean and spiciness and a little earthiness

T: Has a good malt backbone with the same hop presene as aroma, no roast just dry bready taste, hops balance it perfectly, easy to drink but still flavorful, outdoor German party beer...yes

M: Gets a little dry, decent but not overpowering carbonation

Notes: Better than the sum of its parts, which are still very good. Definitely one of the better common American Oktoberfest beers

Photo of JMScowcroft
4.02/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Harpoon Brewery - Harpoon Octoberfest Beer, poured into a stein.

Look - Pours a clear dark copper ruby with a decent sized fizzier head that retains about 1cm. Some lacing.

Smell - Dank fruitiness with a hint of sweet malt. Mouth watering. Great aroma, I thought.

Taste - Mostly malt with a touch of citrus hops. Slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Soda-like carbonation level that takes away from an element of the heaviness, which would have suited it quite well. I don't often think a brew is a little overly carbonated, but this one was a bit overdone. Slightly malt warm but not otherwise boozy. Great drinkability.

Overall - Solid brew, I'm not usually into the style but this was definitely enjoyable. Fans of the more traditional style may not be 100% sold on this one since it is definitely an adaptation of sorts on Harpoon's end.

Photo of Fergyx825
3.24/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very dark, not so traditional w/ the Oktoberfest which is supposed to be a dark amber. This is more of a darker blackish color, unless you hold it up to the light. Head around the edges as well as on the surface of the beer.

Smell: Full bodied beer, w/ malty hopiness. No real alcoholic smell. Smells great, and exactly what i'd expect from a Oktoberfest.

Taste: bodied taste, w/ coffee hint comes to mind. Very malty. If there was a bit more body, then this would knock it out of the park.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation, but a thick beer. Bring down the carb, and you got yourself a good feel.

Overall: i'm a bit surprised by this beer, and my ratings show it. Best beer to date. Appearance brings it down, but it smells as its supposed to, and well in the end it gets an OK in my book.

Photo of TeamMathis
3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Beautiful amber. Leaves a thin lace head.
Smell: Malty, dried apricots (?).
Taste: Malty, something sweet or very lightly citrusy up front, and bitter finish.
Mouthfeel: Fairly carbonated.

This is an enjoyable Oktoberfest. Malt is clearly noticeable on the nose and tongue. The most interesting thing for me was a dry bitter aftertaste that never quite left my mouth. I would probably get this again.

Photo of kjlcm
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle - first 12 pack we saw this year!

a - dark amber with a nice thick white head. Good looking fall beer!

s - smells malty and nutty

t - malty sweet flavor. Some carmel in there.

m - an ok mouthful

o - I used to like this beer a lot but as I grow fonder of the IPAs I do believe I have moved beyond the Octoberfest beers. Part of the season like the foliage though!

Photo of KidKrafty
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a beer mug. Clear amber color with a white head that eventually just went away. Lots of sweet malty aromas. The taste is sweet caramel upfront finishing with a bitter bite. It goes down smooth and easy. Good seasonal beer, prost.

Photo of CorvetteMike
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark amber, with a medium head that lingers on .

S: Hint of cinnamon, spice, and Rye.

T: Slight sweet malty taste and cinnamon flavor that lingers on.

M: Smooth medium bodied with slight carbonation.

O: Very smooth drinkable beer. A favorites.

Photo of fx20736
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a single bottle from Beers of the World on 8/10/13.

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a mug, served cold.

appearance: darkish orange amber with a 2 finger creme brulee' head. nice lacing.

aroma: sugar cookies, caramel with a little hoppiness, nice.

mouthfeel: a little thin.

taste: toasted wheat bread with plum jam, a touch of burnt toast at the end with some bitterness for balance.

notes: good, decent O-fest, comparable to Brooklyn IMO.

Photo of nukem5
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear amber color with full head not su much lacing down walls of glass as rye IPA but a bit there.

S: Aromais slightly cloying but full of malts and some spice.

T: Taste is rich malts and some mild hops.Sadley not much else there.

M: Mouthfeel is med to full bodied with very little carbonation.

O: Overall a decent beer with good balance of hops and malts, would definitly drink this one again.

Photo of scottbrew4u
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a bright, clear amber color with a bubbly off-white head that settles quickly. Some decent lacing on the glass as you drink it down.

S: Roasty, biscuity, and bready malt backbone and a slight toffee sweet note. Hops are faint but earthy.

T: Light roasted but not bitter grains with a dry bready quality and a semi-sweet toffee taste to blend in with the roasted barley malt smoothness. Hops just kiss this beer to let the sweetness know it does not rule this beer completely. Finish is sweet but not cloying.

M: Light to medium body with crisp prickly carbonation.

O: Easy to drink a few and pair with some sausages or pork and sauerkraut. Better then other US versions of this style it can hold it's own but not the benchmark for the style. Will please most craft beer fans. I would get it again.

Photo of Treyliff
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a clear dark copper color with a thick and pillowy cream colored head with impressive retention, nearly two finger long after the pour. Good patches of lace around the ring.

S- sweet bready malt with some nutty characteristics, a bit yeasty with just a touch of floral hop.

T- palate follows the nose with sweet and nutty malt, a bit of caramel with a dry finish and just a bit if hop linger. Good flavor profile but would prefer a bit more malt-forward profile.

M- medium body, low carbonation and super creamy mouthfeel with a velvety finish

O- this one has great drinkability, which is probably why the label states that they brew this beer for festivals. It did however seem to be a bit subdued in the malt profile. Overall enjoyable though.

Harpoon Octoberfest Beer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
83 out of 100 based on 1,116 ratings.